Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I just read this passage from this book that I am reading by A.M. Holmes:

"To be adopted is to be adapted, to be amputated and sewn back together again. Whether or not you regain full function, there will always be scar tissue."

This book is a memoir of a woman who was adopted in the 1960s. Her birth parents had an affair and the adoption was closed until her birth mother contacted her when she was 31. So, obviously a much different story than our family's story. But that passage hit me. We are currently in the honeymoon phase of our lives as adoptive parents. When we look at Micah's eyes, we do not see our own, but we do see our son. When he looks at us, he sees Mom & Dad. He has no questions at this point that can be verbalized.

I am hoping to avoid the feeling of being "amputated" for him, but I'm sure it is inevitable to some degree. I hope to give him all my knowledge of his beautiful country of birth, every detail I know about his birth mom, his first mom. I hope to take him back to Ethiopia one day - and dare I say it - find his birth mom. I have no idea how he'll respond to my hopes, but you can be sure that he will have some say in how it turns out.

e is so much we, as adoptive parents, have to worry over and think about, while biological parents do not. I'm by no means saying this way is harder, or easier or whatever, but biological parents never have to ask themselves the questions we do about our children's birth families, how they will respond when we talk to them about it, how they will feel about it, etc.

We've been talking about another baby and discussing whether to go through International adoption again or to try domestic. Insert a whole new set of questions we have to think about. If we did an open domestic adoption, how would Micah feel if his little sister had a birth family connection? If we do International again, should we stick with Ethiopia so they can share their heritage? I will say one thing is for sure - we want Micah to have a sibling that resembles him in the way we do not, so we would be pursuing a trans-racial adoption again. For some reason, this is important to us.

So, here we are in the honeymoon stage - no questions - just me telling him stories of how much he was and is loved. How beautiful his birthplace is. How so many people from all over the world cared about him and still do. Mother's Day is approaching and it just occurred to me that I have not figured out how we will honor the woman who, through her own heartache and loss, made this family complete. I want to find a way that is enduring and special. I'm at a loss...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ethiopian Kids Community

On Saturday we met up with some other families in the area who have, or are adopting from Ethiopia. We went to a local Children's Museum. It was a lot of fun, and of course I took 5 million pictures. I've put a few in a slideshow for you. :)

The first few are of a tunnel thing that Micah could not get enough of - this child has no fear - other babes shook their head at the tunnel, but Micah was all about it. The rest are mostly from a little area that is made specifically for toddlers. I am thinking about getting a membership because Micah had so much fun. It would be great for rainy days. Anyway - here is the show...

And, yes, I added all the goofy captions. I couldn't help myself. It would have been better if Lori had done them - I still laugh about the horse and the pacifier caption. :)

And, if you can't see the slideshow, you can go here and see the pictures.

Friday, April 25, 2008

That's how we roll...

On Monday we went out to enjoy the glorious SPRING weather - we went to the park with another mom and her three children (1 bio, 2 from Ethiopia). Besides being accosted by a bitter soccer mom and having a man light up a cigarette right next to us on the swings (yes - I'm not kidding - I wanted to laugh out loud at his audacity, or perhaps his ignorance), we had a great time. Here is Micah in all his cuteness at the park...

He loves standing up! He will pull up on anything and really liked pulling up on these bars at the park.

Yes, I did let him crawl around the nasty ground at the park. He's a kid - he's going to get dirty right? I will be happy when he's walking now that it's getting warm - it's not fun crawling when you're outside.

Micah has been getting his top and bottom one-year molars. This has caused major distress in our lives. He is not a good teether, and we just feel terrible for him. The other day he was crying (screaming) and hitting his little cheek with his hand. So sad! I've been using the teething tabs and a heavy supply of motrin for bedtime. Seems to be helping. Anyway, the teething has also made him very clingy - it's like when he first came home and he didn't want to be put down. So, after a few days of major fits while I tried to vacuum or do the dishes, I remembered that I have an excellent baby carrier! So, I put him on my back and we proceeded to vacuum with no fits! He just sits back there and baby-talks (which is the sweetest thing I've ever heard, so I'm loving it!). Kevin came in and thought it was hilarious. We took pictures of course! Yep, that's how we roll.

(Since blogger is acting up and won't let me upload more pictures - I'm doing these as a slideshow. There are some horrible ones of me in there, but Micah's face is priceless. He was completely cracking up. And, even though he looks like he's snarling on Dad's back - that's actually a laugh. :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Check it...

Look what I just found...

Through an extraordinary partnership with the Africa Aid Foundation, a t-shirt is being elevated to its highest call yet - life saver. With the purchase of each THIS SHIRT SAVED A LIFE tee from Tiny Revolutionary, $20 will be donated directly to Africa Aid to fund a child in their school lunch program in the Buduburam Refugee Settlement in Ghana for an entire year. The once daily, nutritious meal this donation provides ensures that a child is able to focus on learning for the future, not simply surviving for the present.

You can find this shirt here. They also have it for adults. You can also find another tshirt at the Africa Aid website.

Oh, and I found it because I am actually shopping for a new diaper bag/purse. I am currently using a huge-o-mongous bag from H&M that has no compartments so I am constantly losing things in the bag and end up emptying it's contents wherever I may be. This is not very fun, so I'm looking for something to help organize the wipes and the dipes, but also something I would like to carry when Micah isn't with me. Any suggestions? Please? :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Just Pictures

Now that I'm working, Kevin and Micah are spending a lot more quality time together. :) I really, really miss our nights together, but it is only 3 nights a week, after all. I'm still trying to figure out how to get everything done and still have time to just relax with the fam, but it's definitely an adjustment!

Anyway, here are some pictures Kevin took recently while I was at work...

You've got to wonder what happens when Mom's away to cause this face...

Oh, but that was followed by this one...

Notice Micah's newest obsession - one blue plastic screw and one red plastic screw - from his workbench. He must always have both in his hands when playing with them. He likes to chuck them up the stairs and then climb up after them. (Don't worry - Dad walks behind him, and we don't let him run around with these in his mouth. Not that he's actually running yet...)

Maybe Pedro wants to play with the screws too?

And, this one just makes me laugh. I should ask Lori to provide a caption for it because she is so good at that with cutie Abe's pictures. :)

Now we're off to enjoy Spring! Finally here!!! Yay!

Friday, April 18, 2008


Micah slept through his first (and I really hope only) earthquake! At 4:37 this morning I heard some rattling through the monitor - that woke me up and I sat up and grabbed Kevin and said, "It's an earthquake!" I still can't believe we felt it. (We were over 100 miles from the epicenter - and it was a 5.2) Micah slept through it, but I have a big fear of earthquakes (probably due to the "Earthquake Drills" we were forced to go through in the early 90s in high school!) so I was up shaking scared that a bigger one was coming. I got online even to see what to do in an earthquake. (Dork!)

And, yes, I know that all of you in CA are giggling at me a little bit right now.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Baby Bottles & Other Recommendations

I always like to preface posts like this by stating that I am not an expert, and I encourage everyone to do their own research about what I'm going to talk about.

That being said, a recent study of the chemical BPA, which is found in plastics - including those that make most baby bottles, found it to be dangerous and potentially harmful to babies, children and adults. You can read a little about it here and here. (To find the draft of the study - click on the link I have on 'recent study' and then click on "NTP Draft Brief on Bisphenol A" - on the sidebar.)

I have posted about this before and am bringing it up again to give my review of a new bottle we recently purchased. I had previously purchased 2 Green to Grow bottles, which are okay, but we were having a suction problem with them. (Suction problems can cause ear infections, from what I've read.) The good thing about them is that they are free of both Bisphenol A (BPA) and phlatates. But, I still ended up using the inserts from my Dr. Brown's bottles with them to reduce the suction. (Dr. Brown's uses BPA in their plastics.) So, a couple of weeks ago, Amy reminded me about the plastic issue and I got to worrying again (this time with the support of the NTP :) so I bought some Born Free plastic bottles. (They make glass bottles too - but that's out of the question for us now - maybe when Mic was younger, but now - ummm, no.)


I love them because they have a valve thing inside that reduces suction - and they are BPA free. (I don't think they are phlatate free too though.) So, to new moms thinking about bottle choices - I'm putting my recommendation out there for the Born Free bottles. (But, I'm not recommending their sippy cups - they LEAK!)

My other recommendation - if you are not using cloth or g diapers, you could try Seventh Generation's Chlorine-Free Diapers.

They are not completely natural, or completely bio-degradable, like these are, but they are unbleached, which is good for the environment and good for baby's bum. The only bad thing is that your babe looks like he's wearing a brown paper bag for a diaper. :) (Oh - and I am thinking of switching to the Nature Baby Care ones - so if anyone uses them - let me know if you like them!)

If you read through all of that, you deserve some Micah pictures! :) Lately he has decided he wants to be a stunt man when he grows up, so here are some shots of his latest escapades. I'm also including some of his other new trick - throwing a fit. Complete with the "lay down on the floor and cry" move. ;)

Monday, April 14, 2008

An Incomplete History

A while back I was tagged by Lori. I know I have been tagged a lot lately and am guilty of not playing - it because I was working on this tag - including finding and scanning long-lost pictures. I think I went a little overboard on the pictures for this, but it was too much fun. :)

I'll start at the beginning - August 2000. We don't have a fairy-tale beginning or anything - we met at a bar. We both worked in the restaurant industry (Kevin was a chef and I was a server) and there wasn't much else to do after work but go to a bar, so that's where it all started. :)

Here is Kevin is all his Chef-glory - isn't he cute in his chef-pants? He was a sous-chef at the young age of 21. I didn't know he was only 21 when we first met. I had just turned 26 two weeks before and he was about to turn 22. When I figured out he was younger than me, I decided this probably wouldn't work out. But he was persistent and I gave in and went on our first date (out to dinner of course) with him.

This is one of the first pictures we have together. Kevin never liked this picture but I love it. He was meeting my Dad and Stepmom for the first time and for some reason they took pictures of us together.

This is the dog I had when we first met. She was 15 years old and took care of me as much as I took care of her. Her name was Tessa and she adored Kevin. He was so sweet to her - this picture is from a day when we got 12 inches of snow. He took her out and bought her a coat because he thought she would be cold. It was then that I knew for sure that he was the one. The way to my heart was through my dog. :)

Here we are at the restaurant Kevin worked at when we met. I think this was from a wine dinner - 5 courses all paired with wine. I remember feeling very proud of his food - he is a very good chef.

In April 2001 we got our first dog together. Little Tess had passed away - Kevin had helped me through every step of that - even helping me to make the decision of when the time was right and coming with me to the vet to say goodbye. A month later we got our little Hammie. This is when it became apparent that Kevin was going to be a great dad. He doted on this dog non-stop.

Halloween 2001. I have no idea what I'm dressed as. Or Kevin for that matter. It was fun though! I mean check out that chest hair! (Not really his :)

Our first vacation together. We took pictures of ourselves. :) We had SO much fun.

My birthday - I think my 28th?

In December, 2002, Kevin asked me to marry him. It was very sweet and I couldn't have been happier. I kept saying, "Really?" until finally he asked, "Are you going to say yes?" :) I did.

Our wedding invitation. We weren't very traditional as you can see. (You might have to click on this to get the full effect.)

Our wedding shower. We look pretty excited about that rolling pin. Too bad I don't know how to cook. (Good thing I fell in love with a chef!)

The Big Day...

Our wedding day was a lot of fun. We had our ceremony at a museum and the reception on the 10th floor of the same building. We didn't have a sit-down dinner - just stations of food (of which I ate none!) and passed hors d'oeuvres. We had a swing band too - my dress was a lot of fun to swing dance in. (I should add that I'm not really a good dancer - but with a good partner I can pull it off. :)

On our honeymoon. This is when we decided not to wait to have children, but to start trying right away. I'm glad we made that decision.

My 30th birthday. The next day Kevin took me for a surprise vacation to Hilton Head. His 30th is coming up and I'm taking him on a surprise vacation. (Any suggestions?)

Our baby shower. You can't tell, but we are sitting in the same chair as our wedding shower. Our BFFs Chris & Rob had both showers for us. They are pretty great.

And, all of that led us to this...

We are very lucky - to have each other and to have our sweet babe.

(I really think I went overboard with the pictures! :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

African Children's Choir

Right before Micah's 1st birthday I was online and found out that the African Children's Choir would be performing about 3 hours from our house - Road Trip! Our gift to Micah for his birthday was this trip to see the ACC - who he LOVES! I was laughing at myself because the last time I road-tripped for a band was in college from Tucson to Pheonix - and it may have even been the Grateful Dead that we went to see. (Yes, even a former punk-rocker like myself went to see the Dead - it was Arizona after all, where everyone thought they were hippies.)

Anywhoo... we went last week and the best part about it (other than the children and their beautiful voices) was meeting up with other families that aren't too far from us. We were so happy to see Mamush again (as always!) and to meet Ashenafi (SO stinking cute - this kid is a little chunky bit of cuteness!) and to meet up with Casey & DeeDee, who are waiting for to travel to their little cutie (come on travel email - come this week!!).

The Mamas

and the Papas.
(yes, I'm a dork.)

I was amazed to see Mamush sit through the entire concert on his mom and dad's laps. Micah, Kevin and I had to move from our prime third row seats to the back of the theater - but that's okay - there was more room for dancing! ;) After the concert we let the bigger boys crawl around and go a little crazy (well, Micah did anyway) before putting them back in the car for the long trip home. It was a lot of fun.

And, speaking of meeting up with other families - tonight I met up with the Bakers and their oh-so-adorable-want-to-give-him-big-kisses Habtamu. (Their blog is private - so you may not be able to see how cute he is - I've been given permission to post a pic soon- well, when his mamma finds time to send it to me. :) Habi is 3 years old and just got home 9 days ago- I didn't want to overwhelm him so I didn't grab him and smooch him like I wanted to, but I think next time I will have to because he has the greatest smile! Rivaled only by Leul. :)

It's at times like these when I feel so fortunate for the blog; for "knowing" other families through the blogs, and in actual real life. The connections we are making are life-long and will mean so much to our children some day. I feel very blessed that we live in a time when this is possible.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I'm Mom

Since my last post I have become Mom. I went from Bah, to Bom, to MOM. Real live word - momomomomom. He says it over and over to me - especially when he is getting tired or wants to cuddle. Can I just tell you - I never realized how much it would warm my heart to hear that word. I'm falling in love with my son all over again. He is just so amazing.

I think this is true with all parents (bio and AP) - that the attachment/bonding period is not something that just happens - it is something that continues to grow stronger in your heart as the time passes. This is not to say that I haven't been completely in love for the past 8 months- what I'm trying to say is that I'm amazed how this love continues to grow and envelop you. I think I'm starting to
truly understand what is so beautiful about motherhood. Some mamas might 'get it' right away, but for me it is a journey of love and understanding, and I am so happy to be on this journey.

Ok - I'm feeling a little emotional. :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Chocolate Cookies and Such

So I haven't been that great of a blogger lately - just posting pictures and hoping that will do. I'm a bit tired - I'm now a working mama. At least part-time. I work at a restaurant 3-4 nights a week (preferably 3!). It's an awesome restaurant - the chef is amazing (and very nice!) so I'm happy to be there, but it leaves me a bit tired.

Today I took Micah to his first swim class. He is such a little fish! He LOVES the water and is a splasher. I was laughing because no one wanted to stand right next to us - those who dared to do so were splashed mercilessly. He puts his face in the water whenever he can and loves "jumping" in from the side. I am so happy that he's loving it (I am a former swimmer, swim team coach and swim lessons teacher).

Micah is going through one of those stages where he learns A LOT! It is so amazing to watch - I think seeing him learn new things is one of my favorite things about parenthood. Since I've been bad and haven't written him his birthday letters lately - here are some fun things he's doing lately:
*Pulling up - on everything! The couch, me, the dog - whatever. He really loves to pull up on the windowsill in his room.
*Stairs - he has started to climb the stairs and has gotten up to the fourth one without falling back. (Don't worry - I'm always there to catch him!)
*Walking - no, he's not walking, but he has started to take steps behind his walkers (which is good because we have 1,000 of them from friends and he got a few for Christmas). It is the CUTEST thing in the world to watch his little baby steps.
*Talking - no words yet (unless you count DAH! for Dad, which I do) but he is really figuring out inflections. I'm pretty sure my name is BAH (which also works for bottle) and he will call it out when he is looking for me.
*Playing - just in the past two weeks Micah has really figured out that it is fun to play. He will play by himself for a long period of time now - rather than me having to hold him or sit with him all the time. I think it's good that he is finding his independence.
*Napping - Ok, this one is a bit (lot) sad for mom - he is going down to one nap. (SAY IT ISN'T SO!) He still wants a morning nap, but then fights the afternoon nap, so I've started to keep him up longer in the morning and now he is taking a 2 1/2 hour nap after lunch. (This is another reason for the lack of blogging. :)

Ok - there is your Mic update. By the way - that's Mic like Mic Jagger - not like Mike. Just thought I'd clear that up.

And, as you know, I think posts are boring without pictures so here is Micah with a cookie - it is one of those Paul Newman chocolate cookies. He would NOT let it go and it was dribbling all over his face. I should warn you - these pictures aren't pretty, but they are pretty funny. :)

One last thing - I just bought this book today - Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears. The author is an Ethiopian immigrant to the United States. I just started it tonight and really like it so far. Also - I just finished Kaffir Boy - an autobiography of a boy growing up in South Africa during apartheid. Amazing! I highly recommend it.